Elect Larry Krasner and the “Slate of Eight” Democratic Judges on November 7th

In this year’s election, Neighborhood Networks is endorsing Larry Krasner for District Attorney, and a “Slate of Eight” impressive Democratic candidates for Supreme, Superior and Commonwealth Courts. Please be sure to vote for them on Election Day, November 7th. We also urge you to vote NO on the Ballot Question which would enable broadening the homestead exemption for real estate taxes without specifying replacement revenue for our schools.

Read on for the reasons supporting these recommendations.

VOTE FOR LARRY KRASNER FOR DA

Larry Krasner will bring a long-overdue breath of fresh air to the D.A.’s office. He runs on a platform of ending cash bail, treating addiction as a medical problem not a crime, and ending stop-and-frisk. And Larry has a 30 year history defending movements for progress — from ACT UP, to Occupy, to Black Lives Matter. He not only “talks” progressive, but his body of work tells us that he is indeed the real deal.

In “off-year” election years like this one, voter turnout in Philadelphia typically plummets to somewhere between 10 and 20%. If that happens this year, we could be saddled with a Republican District Attorney, endorsed by the FOP, who is likely to continue business as usual in that office. That means continuing to incarcerate vast swaths of Philadelphia residents mainly for the “crime” of being poor and black, while giving the police free rein.

Let’s not just elect Larry, but give him a resounding mandate for change.

VOTE FOR THE EIGHT DEMOCRATIC APPELLATE COURT JUDGES

Our “Slate of Eight” appellate Court candidates are also outstanding. It is the most diverse slate ever, including six women and one candidate who would be only the second African-American justice ever to serve on the PA Supreme. We need to elect Democratic judges who respect the environment and a woman’s right to choose, will enhance civil liberties, and insure that our schools are fairly and fully funded. We cannot afford to have the upper courts in Pennsylvania loaded for a decade with right-wing Republican judges who threaten all that we value.

VOTE NO ON BALLOT QUESTION ON ABOLISHING REAL ESTATE TAXES

There is a terrible Constitutional amendment that is on the ballot for an up or down vote. The amendment would let cities and school districts abolish the residential property tax, if authorized by the legislature. However, it fails to identify how the tax revenue would be replaced. With a right wing legislature likely to remain in power for years, it’s a safe guess that the replacement revenue would come from taxes that unfairly target working people and the poor. And whatever revenue stream is identified, it’s likely to be insufficient to hold school districts harmless. We must vote NO on this ballot question.

BIOGRAPHICAL DETAIL ON OUR JUDICIAL CANDIDATES

Below is some information on each of the eight recommended judges. But the most important info about them is that they would preserve and extend the Democratic majority on the Supreme Court — responsible for such great decisions as validation of the Environmental Clause of the PA Constitution, and requiring that the Legislature fully and fairly fund the schools — and begin to cut back the lopsided Republican majorities on the Commonwealth and Superior Court. Reducing or eliminating those majorities is key to getting great Supreme Court decisions rapidly and faithfully implemented.

Justice Debra Todd (Retention Vote) – PA Supreme Court

  • First Democratic woman elected to PA Supreme Court
  • In line to become first female Chief Justice of PA Supreme Court
  • Alert! The retention section of the ballot is not included when voting for the other candidates.
  • Even if the “Straight Democratic Party” choice is made, voters must cast a separate “yes” vote to retain Justice Todd

Judge Dwayne Woodruff – PA Supreme Court

  • Judge on Allegheny Court of Common Pleas
  • Played 12 seasons for Pittsburg Steelers; served as team captain the final three years
  • Attended university full time at night to earn law degree while playing professional football
  • Would bring a better reflection of PA’s population as an African American

Judge Debbie Kunselman – PA Superior Court

  • Penn State University, elected Phi Beta Kappa
  • Law degree from Notre Dame University, earning cum laude distinction
  • First woman elected to Beaver County Court of Common Pleas

Judge Maria McLaughlin – PA Superior Court

  • Prosecutor in Philadelphia DA’s office, 19 years
  • Chief Assistant DA of Child Support Enforcement Unit, one of youngest female chiefs
  • Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas since 2011
  • As a judge, never had a decision of hers overturned

Judge Geoff Moulton – PA Superior Court

  • Appointed by Gov. Wolf in 2016 to fill vacancy on Superior Court
  • Columbia Law School, managing editor Columbia Law Review
  • Clerked on both U.S. Court of Appeals and U.S. Supreme Court
  • First Assistant U. S. Attorney
  • Worked on nominations of Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan

Judge Carolyn Nichols – PA Superior Court

  • Juris Doctor from Temple University
  • MBA from Eastern University
  • Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas since 2011

Judge Ellen Ceisler – Commonwealth Court

  • Assistant District Attorney in Philadelphia
  • Investigative producer for WCAU-TV News (CBS)
  • Philadelphia Police Department’s Director of Integrity and Accountability Office
  • Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, 10 years
  • Needed on this court since presently no Democratic women

Irene Clark – Commonwealth Court

  • Former Pittsburg Municipal judge
  • Career in public interest law
  • Queens College law degree
  • MA in Conflict Resolution
  • A leading authority in blight revitalization efforts
  • Would bring a fresh perspective to Commonwealth Court

And a reminder for those who live in Northwest Philly:

Click this link to help bring out the vote for Larry Krasner and the Slate of Eight.

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Stan Shapiro

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